Searching for the Truth in the King James Bible;
Finding it, and passing it on to you.



EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

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BE A GOOD FRIEND.....
LEAD BY EXAMPLE

PART TWO-
Ways to grow your ministry and communicate

By Steve Van Nattan

Start at Part One

 

Growing Your "Ministry"

In the context of the teaching of the Bible, EVERY one of you who are born again are ministers in one way or another.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

I am sick of this special class of rascals in three piece suits being considered an elite class of "ministers." I prefer to talk to all of you who want to please God by doing things daily that promote his plan of the ages in your world, no matter how small it may seem to you.

In fact, nothing else matters.


Blogging:

A blog is distinct from a web site in that a blog is usually news related and is posted frequently. If a web site is the equivalent to a brick and mortar store front, a blog is the news paper sent out by the store. The difference is this, a blog can stand alone without a web site being involved. This is particularly true of the personal blog in which you vent, report news, teach, or just amuse people. Blogging is becoming very popular because free hosting services are offered, whereas web sites must be posted to the Internet for monthly fees. There are advertisements involved, but the host lets you filter what kind of ads show up.

90% of the companies who have a blog have 97% more blog related sales.

61% of US consumers have made a blog related purchase.

37% of marketers say that blogs are the most important marketing force.

70% of consumers learn about online blog articles rather than from ads.

If the marketing world has these results, why don't YOU have a blog to the glory of God? I have thirty blogs. I get an inspiration, or I see something that needs saying, so I make a blog. Now, I admit that I am not keeping up with every one of my blogs, and I have dropped a few and will drop more because it is hard to find time to keep them in fresh content. But, I have ignored a blog for weeks, only to suddenly see something that fits that blog, so I drop it there instead of just bookmarking it for good old ME. That way, I hand the thing to hundreds of people over a year.

Also, I had one blog that I thought was not important, so I ignored it. Later, I checked my stats on it, and I was astounded to find regular visits to it. So, I am trying to add to all of my blogs.

A blog which honors God will probably not be one of these fluffy personal diary type things that tells the world every little emotion and gush you feel. Rather, think about what drives your zeal-- what is it that you would like to say to the world if you had more opportunities. There you are, friend. Go turn that zeal into a blog.

Try to make your blog unique, fresh looking, and build up plenty of extras in the side column. Give people links to go to other blogs like yours. Post short blog entries with references to the Bible and to history. PROVE something is true. Let people make comments, even if they mock at you. Readers like a blogger who takes the heat instead of hiding from it.

Along with truths and news you want to share, tell people where to find bargains or resources that are sound and useful for your readers' friends. And, be sure to meditate on this, are the bloggers who visit your blog your friends, or is the blog just a place where you like to vent and show off? Venting is only useful if it ministers truth and solutions to the reader.

Here are four of my blogs, and I want you to see the rather extreme differences between them. I pray that all my blogs reflect Christ's standards.

BALAAM'S ASS SPEAKS
This blog is targeted at Bible believers with news and some comic relief along with Bible teaching as salt in most articles. I try to let my personality show without being a jerk. People feel more personal about blogs because the blog is more like a one on one meeting in a restaurant or at your work place.

BALED HAY
This is almost all satire, humor, and comic relief. Again, I try to keep things well salted with the Word of God, at least restraining myself and my tendency to get too colorful.

GOOD SOLDIER ENDURING HARDNESS
The title is too long, the visual format needs help, but I have gotten good traffic here in spite of the fact that I do not post there enough.

THE WAR ROOM
This blog is very targeted toward the Bible believer who is zealous to enter the battle for truth. It also runs parallel in principle to THE WAR ROOM at my web journal, Blessed Quietness Journal.

Share the benefits of blogging with your friend in Christ, and show him why it is effective in your niche. Give your friends some basic how-to steps to get started and some final tips about blogging in your particular niche. In regard to our overall objective in this article, you should offer Bible believers help in setting up blogs once you learn the ropes. If you need to ask me questions, please send Email to me here.

If you are on Facebook or Twitter, why? Are you showing off, or just diddling to make people feel good? Facebook and Twitter have real potential if you are exalting God. Do you control your mouth? Do you post or point to things you know Christ would not like? Are you leading by example so that your social media friends are moved to glorify God also?

Social media is very useful if you meet real Bible believers, and if you can exalt Jesus Christ. There are "Groups" on Facebook also where you can talk about some issue dear to you. Just be prepared to get your belly full of rubbish, and be prepared to be dumped out of groups for speaking the truth.

Otherwise, go for it. Do be careful about saying things you would not want Caesar to read. Facebook and Twitter are vigorously trolled by NSA and Homeland Security.

By the way, some of you who are reading here may have done another thing that helps me as a blogger and web publisher. I linked from this journal article to my blogs. If you checked out a blog or two, you did something I wanted. Always inter-link from one online presence to another. If you have something worth saying, help people find it. Also, get a Twitter account, and post there linking to your blog of web site. And, use hashtags # in the Twitter post. You may also send people to a brother's web site or blog, and help him get traffic.

I need to note also that YouTube is getting to be the world's most popular visual amusement. As reading skills drop due to dilatory public school policies, people are more and more relying on videos online to learn about issues. Furthermore, it is well known that sight and sound are very powerful tools of communication. Video cameras are not terribly expensive, and there is free software available to help compile video presentations so that they are appealing. Are you the sort of person who could handle this? If so, see if you can start a channel, and ask your friend in the Lord to help you.

 

Why Write:
You may think you cannot blog or have a Web based site because you cannot write. There are some pretty terrible writers out there on the Internet, so why do some of them get thousands of visitors every month? The answer is, they are saying something people relate to, or they are rendering a service that keeps people coming back.

J. Frank Dobie of Texas wrote a biography on the life of Ben Lilly which I am reading. Dobie knew Lilly, and he said that Ben Lilly wanted to write a book on his adventures, and had two chapters done on his life experiences, one chapter on bears and one on panthers. Dobie said the Lilly's language structure and syntax reflected his upbringing in the swamps of Louisiana, but Dobie said that when Lilly asked him to read the two chapters Dobie could not set them down.

Lilly killed hundreds of bears in the Louisiana swamps, and he killed a good number using only knives which he made himself. If you have a Bowie knife Jim Bowie made, you have a treasure. If you have a knife that Ben Lilly made, you have an historic treasure of high value.

Lilly was known as the best "sign reader" in the Southwest USA. Sign reading means following an animal and seeing all the nearly invisible signs of that animal's passing in order to track it. Ben Lilly's observations were priceless to anyone who hunted big game or wanted to learn how to survive in the wild. If Ben Lilly were alive today and had a blog, he would have millions of visitors in spite of his poor grammar writing structure.

If you have experiences and knowledge others only could wish they had, you can be a successful blogger without a PHD in English literature.

My web journal, which you are reading, Blessed Quietness Journal, does not get the hits some gamer site gets, but I get pretty good traffic. I also have received thousands of emails from people who told me God answered some need they had as they read at my journal, and some tell me they have been convicted by the Holy Spirit of some issue in their life. They want me to know they have made a commitment to change in some way. That becomes priceless to me. I have made some very rewarding friendships online, and I have some exceptional enemies.

And, if you help other Bible based web sites by giving them links, they will usually give you links. That, and other tricks you can research online, will help your site be found. Chances are, someone out there will want what you have to say. Just be sure the Word of God is the source for your writing, and you cannot go wrong.

A word to preachers: Are you sitting there at a blog or web site serving up good stuff while the flock over which Christ made you "under shepherd" is floundering. The people you have right in front of you are your top priority, and then the web surfer in Mumbai, India comes next. I get too much mail from people who tell me their pastor never visits them because he is always hunkered over his computer. The least you could do, preacher, is send them an email with some issue to pray for, or send them some health or other personal information that relates to them in particular.

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Get your priorities under control saint. Your first target group is in your home. And, remember, you have a friend we have been talking about-- is he inspired to do something for the Lord online also by watching you?

 

Etiquette:

Every niche has its own rules of etiquette. If you are going to say things for Jesus Christ in some online area, please study Jesus etiquette in the Gospels. The etiquette of the mob will not do for you. Read Paul's Epistles, and see how he related and talked to people. Bluntness and forcefulness are not absent from our Bible examples, but they always glorify God and are targeted according to the need of the listener.

Jesus was very blunt and in the face of the Pharisees when they came looking for him. But, when a Pharisee named Nicodemus came to talk to Jesus one night, Jesus was very tender hearted because Nicodemus was sincere. A real man is famous for being a risk taker, being a defender of the bullied, but he is also famous for being gentle with troubled people. Are you known as a gentleman to your friends, and do your friends learn to be gentle by being around you?

The video to the right illustrates a trend in Fundamental Baptist churches, and it is spreading to many other groups in Christendom. This preacher is an hireling. His vicious talk betrays his demonic heritage because he attacks the wrong people-- the sheep.

But be prepared, for if you speak the Truth in love and with zeal you will gather in a few good enemies. A Bible believer who arrives in heaven one day, without enemies he got by serving Jesus..... that Christian blew it, my friend. Jesus did NOT try to avoid making enemies, and neither should you. But the sheep are not your enemies-- only the wolves.

So, give your friends your email address to get back to you. Do not avoid hearing from the people you claim to care about. When you answer email be rough on rats with the sinister and antagonistic adversary, but be tender hearted to the downtrodden and troubled saints. SEND MAIL

Let's get back to the market place again.

You and I must do the same thing in our everyday interaction with fellow believers. This also applies to people we meet in the market place, and with people at work. Make sure you observe the courtesies of the place and group you are with. We have too many Bible believers these days who are trained by jackboot preachers to be brash and rude to everyone, as if Jesus was that way.

Are you the product of a slob or a Savior? If you are a hog raised slob from First Jackboot Baptist Church of Pigalvania, your kids will be slobs, your wife will be a slobette, and you will draw slobs to you for friends.

There is never a time when we can take a break from being like Jesus. But, if that seems overwhelming, Paul told us we have a friend with us all the time to help:

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus.....
In Swahili- "Hakuna rafiki kama Yesu."
One Hundred years ago these fellows' ancestors were raging for the blood of White explorers.

Who made the difference?

Answer: A man with hard hands and a tender heart-- a gentle Carpenter from Nazareth.

And, Jesus said, Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Again, do you have a brother in Christ who is brash and crude in his witnessing and relations with the saints and unbelievers? He needs an example in how to relate to people. Are you the one who shows him the way of Jesus Christ with people?

All of the above applies to us all, whether we are online in a chat room, at work in the break room, or at the super market talking with the door man.

Say Thanks:

Here is a suggestion: Get alone, and make a list of times you thanked people for something. Think of the results, both good and bad.

When I get an email from some reader thanking me for some article I posted on this journal, it makes my day. I could do this journal without being thanked, but it is a real boost to my zeal to write for my Lord, and later in email or on the phone, one of his children tells me God spoke to them here. How often do you send email to some web publisher and thank him for some article that blessed you?

Now, is there a lesson in this? If so, write a sticky note and put it on the car dash, or at your work station, to remind you to be thankful verbally to some coworker or friend. Maybe make the reminder coded so your coworkers do not know what it is about.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Never under estimate the power of a thank you. Even people who are not highly motivated respond to being thanked. Start with your spouse and kids. Ask yourself, "Would my thank-you be even more powerful if accompanied with a gift of some kind?" Generosity lives right next door to a thankful spirit.

In the Middle East, when someone is invited to be a guest in a home, they will take a gift for the host. This custom is probably centuries old. A gift goes a long ways to build friendship and gain a willing listener.

Proverbs 18:16 A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

One way to bless people is to give credit. I am not talking about flattery which God hates. But, when someone helped you and/or your friends move forward and prosper in some endeavor, make sure the one who helped gets credit. That might include a note in their file or a phone call to those above them.

I had a friend during college days who was the cool head around campus, but everyone liked him in spite of his overly suave and debonair ways. We will call him Jim.

Why did everyone like Jim?

First, he was generous to a fault. I was dressing to leave for a church event one day, and Jim looked at my shoes. He said, "Steve, you need wing tips to go with that sport coat and tie-- put mine on." After I did, Jim declared I looked great. And, do you know what? I FELT great.

When I came back from the church event I took the wing tips back to Jim, and he said, "Keep them-- you need those for special times." They were Florsheims, top of the line stuff. Later he gave me a designer tie to go with them.

The other way in which Jim made everyone like him was in his performance when some big program was cooked up. Jim was usually appointed to lead and make the whole thing work. He usually did little or nothing except encourage people. They would pull it together, grumbling a bit about how Jim never showed up to help. After the program, which was always a success, Jim would get up at a school assembly and heap praise and glory on everyone who helped. "If it wasn't for Steve the whole thing would have failed." By the time he was done shelling the corn, none of us could find a way to resent Jim anymore. He had learned the value of a Thank You.

The curious thing was this-- The more I was around Jim the more I started acting suave and debonair, AND thanking my friends and being generous. I trust I have moved on by now to also be better at helping up front, but Jim was the sort of guy that made you want to do better.

One more parable.....

Last week my wife and I went to IHOP in the afternoon to eat and get a Buy-One-Get-One-Free since we are old enough to qualify. I ordered a new menu item which was a pasta dish. When the food came, I was amazed at the pasta-- it was Al Dente. If you are not a connoisseur of Italian food this probably does not move your much, but most pasta in restaurants is mushy from sitting too long. Al Dente means the pasta is dropped into boiling water and cooked ONLY three minutes at sea level, maybe less. It is jerked out, dropped on the plate, the sauce added, and rushed to the patron. The pasta still resists a bit when chewed.

I told the waiter to compliment the cook for me-- I really made a fuss over it. But, I went home and sent a letter to IHOP headquarters, and I told them about it and asked them to put my email in the cook's file. I know almost all communications to companies are complaints. I got a personal email back thanking me and promising me they would forward the email to the location we had visited. I have never gone wrong thanking someone for what they did for me or for the Lord.

A thank-you nowadays is even more precious to the receiver because our culture has become foolish and wicked in their imaginations, and this results in selfish people who are master complainers and seldom thankful.

I have had a few experiences when a waiter brought me the wrong dinner item. He would catch himself and say that he was going back to get the right thing. I have almost always said, "No problem, I'll be happy with that-- just leave it alone." The waiter's jaw drops, and he says almost in shock, "Really?" The look on his face always makes up for any inconvenience. You see, modern society is all about "I". When you break the pattern of greed and selfishness, people are shocked, and when they see you again, my friend, they are at once delighted and remember you. Go do it.

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

See if you can change the culture, and while you are at it, show your friends how to be thankful. It is amazingly contagious.

Serve:

1. Give people the same thing Jesus gave people. Some modern methods and technology tricks will get results, but then people are coming to you because you are a seller with slick tricks instead of being a servant of the Savior. At the end of the day you should be a lot more interested in email or private chats that tell about people being taught and making life changes. Instead, are you all about how many page loads you get per month?

As a pastor, do you live for the numbers and progress on your resume, or is your mind regularly wandering back to those few sheep Christ has assigned to you? America and the whole world Church are plagued by pastors who lust for praise and glory. It is the coming out party of the future Whore of the Beast. Flattery is the reward which these bastard sons crave. The last thing on the minds of most pastors is how to serve the saints. How about you?

Do people tell you that your words help them, whether online, or in the market place or at work? And, when people at work start coming to you in a quiet moment to ask you to pray for them, only then can you be sure you served well up front. The spoken and written editorial are not the objective. They are a means used by saints to exalt Jesus Christ and help people see him and his Gospel.

2. Do you take questions you get in email, or in the work place, and write articles or blog entries based upon them? I do this all the time. Anytime some sincere seeker asks you a question, whether in email exchanges or on the street, that is a potential article. These questions are based on some real need someone had, not just a hobby horse you want to ride.

3. You must answer email, and questions, from sincere seekers. Extremely few people write to web editors with serious thoughts. These people who do are priceless. Never snub them. I even write my enemies and thank them for their hate mail. I at least know someone got mad, and that is better than hearing nothing.

4. In every day activity, look for ways to lift burdens for other people. If they are not thankful, at least you will have the experience of doing the right thing. Many Christians have the opinion that doing good just to do good is evil. That is a cute cop out for the slobs who refuse to participate. The most rewarding experiences in a day are those that you did not plan, where you saw someone struggling, and you solved their problem for them.

Here is a lady, a pastor's wife, who finds the time to do what we are talking about.

I try to have a five or ten dollar bill in my wallet all the time. If I see a kid admiring a toy, and his Mommy says, "We cannot afford that right now," I ask Mommy if I can buy it for him. If that is OK with Mommy, I hand the $5 to the kid and let him pay for it. If Mommy is reluctant, I tell her that this is how I give to others in obedience to God, and that not all giving needs to happen at the church house.

You have no idea how good that feels. Besides, you cannot take the filthy lucre with you. I know people who keep food bags in their car, and when some homeless person at an intersection comes by with their sad sign, they give them the food bag. Seldom are these people unthankful. If you and I are not generous with the poor, God may put us right where they are so that we learn to be thankful and give to the poor.

Are you still thinking about your brother and being an example to him? This article is not here to help you be a fantastic Christian and keep it all to yourself. Your brother in Christ needs an example of these principles, and that example is you.

Last Thought:
Daddy and Mommy, your kids will learn how to serve others by watching you. How are you doing as God's teachers of your kids? And, is your friend learning by your example how to find the same victory you are finding? You may have an unsaved friend you are trying to reach for Christ. Applying these principles presented here will show that unsaved friend the spirit of Christ, and this will validate what you teach him from the Bible.

 

GO TO PART THREE-
We look at using technology to be a good friend. Then we learn to take stock and review our lives to see if we are looking and acting more and more like Christ.

 

SEND MAIL IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING
YOU NEED TO TALK ABOUT

 

 

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